The Golden Eaglets of Nigeria will kick off their campaign for a place in the 2019 U17 Africa Cup of Nations against their Burkinabe counterparts in Niamey this evening.
Both teams clash from 4pm in what is the second match of the Seven-Nation CAF U17 AFCON Qualifiers (WAFU B). Nigeria, Burkina Faso, Cote d’Ivoire and Benin Republic play in Group A, with host Niger Republic, Ghana and Togo in Group A.
The five –time world champions will then tackle Cote d’Ivoire on Thursday before rounding off the group phase against Benin Republic on Sunday.
A new format approved for the competition at the CAF Extra-Ordinary General Assembly which took place in Rabat 13 months ago means countries in each regional bloc gather in one country within the bloc to play a qualifying tournament, as against the old format of home-and-away qualifying series.
Only the winning team from each of the blocs (apart from the bloc of the defending champions that will produce two teams) will qualify for the final tournament, slated for Tanzania next year.